[DAY 89 OF THE DEEP END PROJECT]
I am a big believer in “write from your scar, not your wound.” That’s why I wasn’t sure if this topic was going to come up during my Deep End Project.
I think it’s time though. My wound might not have healed completely yet, but at least it’s not gaping. And after numerous conversations with women in the last 4 months and especially in the last 24 hours, I believe we need to talk about this.
Talk about what?
Olympic Gold Medalist and one of the greatest and most dominant gymnasts of all time.
Sunday night, my husband and I went to bed in anticipation of the final of the women’s gymnastics team.
Next day, I was filling my water glass when I saw a notification on my phone. It read:
Simone Biles pulls out of Olympic ahead of the final, citing mental health
I felt a hole in my gut. A deep, dark hole. Followed by an aching pain in my heart.
A pain I am all too familiar with.
Please don’t get me wrong.
I am not a big Gymnast fan. I was and always will be a Sports enthusiast but I am not some crazy fan who felt a sense of loss and betrayal at this.
I am also not by any means comparing myself to Simone Biles here. I mean, she is only the greatest gymnast in the world and I can barely touch my toes.
But…..but, but, but…..
In the least, in the very, very least I know how she feels.
Because I have been there too.
This is the part where I still feel vulnerable sharing, where my wound is still soft pink…..
4 months ago, I was right in the middle of what we were anticipating to be a quarter million launch.
A week and a half before the program was due to begin and I pulled out.
With no safety net, no back up plan. I stopped the launch.
In her interview after she withdrew, Simone Biles said “Today has been really stressful. We had a workout this morning, it went OK. And then just that five-and-a-half hour wait or something, I was just like shaking, could barely nap. I’ve just never felt like this going into a competition before. And I tried to go out here and have fun. Warmup in the back went a little bit better. But then once I came out here, I was like no, mental’s not there, so I just need to let the girls do it and focus on myself.”
I could have said these same exact words without the context of an Olympics Final of course.
“Mental’s not there and I need to focus on myself”
When I read this, I wanted to call her and tell her “I hear you girl. I am with you.”
But I wasn’t going to share my bit with anyone else (write from your scar, not your wound….)
But then I read what Todd Herman wrote on Instagram and I decided someone has to say it. Why not me?
This is Todd’s brilliant post that hits right in the core of the matter.
Let me break it down for you in the context of our Online Business Industry. He said
“These 2021 Games are a mental health nightmare.”
In the 21 years working with athletes at Olympic games , I’ve never seen more stress/anxiety. (The individual sport athletes are having the hardest time behind the scenes.)
I feel very bad for @simonebiles , she’s such a phenomenal athlete. And an incredibly kind human despite the vitriol she can be on the receiving end of.
The source of her issues and many other athletes right now, is the toxic nature of social media.
I was just texting with @abcnews and I said, “It feels like we’re holding athletes together with duct tape and gorilla glue right now.”
Just replace “athletes” with Online Business Owners and “Olympics” with launching and you will find plenty of Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka around you.
Hell you may be one of them, whether you admit it or not.
We are holding ourselves together with duct tape and gorilla glue as well.
The pressure of not just hitting, but exceeding revenue goals (doubling it, tripling it, quadrupling it)
The pressure of beating your own launch numbers and meeting the forever increasing (may I say inflated?) industry launch numbers
The pressure to always be visible on social media.
The pressure to rake up likes and comments on social media.
The pressure to get fantastic results for your clients.
Duct Tape. Gorilla Glue.
Till it rips.
I cannot imagine the pressure Simone Biles felt on her shoulders. The pressure of an entire country, her coaches, her team members, her 5.5 Million Instagram followers…..
Honestly my pressure, stress and anxiety was nothing as compared to hers.
It was 100% internalized.
I am extremely lucky to not be the sole provider of my family, I also didn’t have a big team to support. Yet, I put an insurmountable pressure on myself to keep doubling and tripling my revenue. To always do well. To give my very best to my clients. To be the best.
I hosted a 2 Day Retreat in March for 50+ Women. The feedback we got was insane.
Women said “it was the best retreat they ever attended”
Everyone loved it. Every single person.
The next day, I got an email from a client who wasn’t happy. Frankly, she thought I sucked.
Now I’ve had my business now for 4 years and for the first time a client has been unhappy with me.
I spent the entire day crying in my hotel room.
50 Happy Clients. 1 Unhappy Client and I could not let myself celebrate my big win! The success of holding incredible space and healing for 50+ women.
Believe me, I am not the only one in this. I wish I was, but I am not.
After chatting with many of my peers, I’ve realised one thing:
This pressure we put on ourselves is not normal!
It’s not normal for Solo Business Owners to run everything in their business (marketing, sales, social, delivery, customer service) and still keep scaling their business while managing Virtual School, losses in the family in the middle of a fucking world wide pandemic!
It’s not normal for us to freak out and have panic attacks when one email or one social post doesn’t perform well.
It’s not normal to feel like we are as useless and worthless as a ball of pubic hair in the sewer when our launches fail or don’t go as well.
It’s not normal for us to put immense pressure on ourselves to the point of sleepless nights when we get unhappy clients.
Running a business takes more than an Instagram page and a fucking funnel.
Todd Herman continues on his Instagram post
“The Olympic games are just a microcosm of society. If you’re seeing some of the most mentally tough, focused, and disciplined people on the planet fall prey to ‘pressure.’
What about the regular Joe’s and Jane’s of society…that don’t have the same level of skill at coping with the toxic levels of opinion, rhetoric, and hateful commentary online.
The antidote is always the same… be more kind.”
So that’s what I did. I showed more kindness to myself. I refused to see myself crumble in the pressure.
I gathered myself up and went back to my clients and told them I was not going to do the program and they showed me so much kindness.
I went to my coach and shared my truth, she showered me with kindness as well.
My peers, my family, my friends – – they all did. They said “we got you!”.
They checked in with me, let me piece myself back together in my own time.
No one said “you don’t matter because you didn’t “perform”.”
They said “we are here for you.” “take your own time”
I am here, kinda on the other side of it (almost!) because of that kindness.
Their kindness, but most importantly the kindness I showed to me.
Simone Biles showed herself the same kindness.
It takes a lot of courage to pull out of a final when you know there’s a gold medal on the line.
A LOT OF FUCKING COURAGE!!
I had to gather a ton of courage too to halt my launch, pull back on projects, say no to people and suck up the shame that came with my perceived failure.
Today, after 4 months, I can tell you it was the best thing that happened to me. The very best! I am so glad I had the courage to prioritize my mental health.
My wish in sharing this with you today is that you too can show yourself that kindness. Regardless of your launch numbers, the engagement on your social. You CAN take the pressure off by saying “I need to focus on me first”
I swear, it’s worth it because you are worth it!